This review comes as a surprise.  We had a London outing planned – Theatre to see “Di and Viv and Rose” followed by a meal at tapas bar.  Apart from the traffic being worse than expected we were doing well until we arrived at the tapas bar where, whatever the reviews might say a 45 minute wait was not going to be entertained; so we moved a few doors along to Terroirs where we had an interesting lunch some time ago.  Interesting in that there were some things we liked (and some we didn’t) but watching the deliveries to other tables were convinced we had chosen wrongly!

Usually I am only jealous of my wife’s choices (and far less frequently she admits that I get to win that one) but we both remember watching the food at the other tables and mentally kicking ourselves, so we were more than happy to take pot luck which meant descending into the bowels for a meal downstairs this time rather than upstairs.

Our joint memories also meant that part of our selections were pre-determined.  Charcuterie board for openers and (if we had the room) the selection of cheeses to finish off.  Which only left us to choose the mains and the wine.  After last week we decided on fish – hake for my wife and Scottish langoustines for me.  So a white wine was in order and this came from the Jura.  Chardonnay said the wife – a 2011 Arbois “Les Follasses” fitted the requirement.  They actually have a pretty extensive wine list – but nothing much under £25 and it soon heads upwards.  Is it just my old age that says that wine is getting expensive?

Upstairs we had memories of the charcuterie selection appearing on a board and looking good at other tables!  This time it arrived on a plate – good for health as boards can carry germs; but bad for presentation – it simply does not look so good, particularly as with all of the other plates they are looking distressed from age.  Duck rillette – huge portion and very moreish.  A pork terrine – slightly lacking in taste but again a decent portion.  The third item was sliced meat which my wife pronounced fatty; so I got more than my fair share.  So marginally disappointed, more in presentation than the actual food.

Scottish grilled langoustines – well that was what they were – but unusually my wife (who would normally want at least one) did not make any move on them – she felt that they did not appeal.  Her hake accompanied by Monks Beard, Chanterelles and brown shrimps was a decent size and she kept remarking on the good olive oil they must use.  I got to taste some of the Chanterelles and so on and can say that certainly this was tastier than my langoustines.

Four cheeses to finish.  Cheddar, Munster, Tomme Fermier and Gorgonzola (unless my memory is going) again arrived on one of those plates.  Now boards can contain germs – similarly so can chips on the edges of the plates.  And whilst I do not fear germs I am conscious of the damage they can do.  Again the presentation was bare and chipped plates do nothing to help.  These cheeses themselves (once I had explained to my wife that it is Morbiere which has ash in the middle and not Munster) were actually very good.  A glass of red for the good lady was advised and delivered rapidly – I was the one driving home.

Two coffees and a bill including service for £124.  This is Central London – but still.

The group owning Terroirs now has a number of other outlets – I think this was the first.  Most of the food was pretty good and the serving staff were good – no problem with that – but compared with our original visit the presentation has slipped and in my view a new set of crockery is needed.

So triple surprise – not the place I expected to review; not quite the presentation I had expected and finally not quite the review that I thought I was going to write.

Good Food Guide Rating is 3 which means “Good cooking, showing sound technical skills and using quality ingredients”.  And I cannot disagree with any of that.